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Discover more about the EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training at the University
of Leeds


EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics

Incorporation of protective film formation kinetics into CO2 corrosion models for robust corrosion management

Lead Academic Supervisor

Richard Barker (School of Mechanical Engineering)

Lead Industrial Supervisor

Silvia Vargas and Will Durnie, BP


Anne Neville (School of Mechanical Engineering), Thibaut Charpentier (School of Chemical and Process Engineering), Harvey Thompson (School of Mechanical Engineering)


Reacting Flows, Mixing and SafetyEnvironmental Flows


Safe and efficient recovery of hydrocarbons is of paramount importance in the oil and gas industry. One of the main obstacles to successful oil production is internal pipeline corrosion, which can cause catastrophic and unexpected failures, leakages, down-time and severe environmental damage. The natural formation of an iron carbonate (FeCO3) corrosion product on the inside of steel pipework is one of the most important factors governing the corrosion rate of the underlying steel; the rate of corrosion can be orders of magnitude lower when FeCO3 is present.[1] Understanding how the local flow conditions affect the associated kinetics of FeCO3 formation as well as the conditions conducive to its removal (mechanically or chemically) is of great practical interest.
There now exists a strong understanding of the CO2 corrosion mechanism within literature however, one aspect where greater ambiguity lies is around the subject of FeCO3 formation and understanding how environmental/physical conditions relate formation kinetics and protective nature.[2, 3] This subject area is challenging as the solution chemistry at the interface of a corroding sample dictates the nucleation and growth behaviour and this can be markedly different to that of the bulk solution.[4]
This project adopts a new, combined experimental and computational approach to relate the solution composition in the near surface region to the precipitation kinetics and protective nature of FeCO3 over a range of physical and environmental conditions.

1.D. Burkle, R. De Motte, W. Taleb, A. Kleppe, T. Comyn, S. Vargas, A. Neville, and R. Barker, "Development of an electrochemically integrated SR-GIXRD flow cell to study FeCO3 formation kinetics", Review of Scientific Instruments, 87, 10 (2016): p. 105125.
2.M. Nordsveen, S. Nešic, R. Nyborg, and A. Stangeland, "A mechanistic model for carbon dioxide corrosion of mild steel in the presence of protective iron carbonate films-Part 1: Theory and verification", Corrosion, 59, 5 (2003): p. 443-456.
3.S. Nešic, M. Nordsveen, R. Nyborg, and A. Stangeland, "A mechanistic model for carbon dioxide corrosion of mild steel in the presence of protective iron carbonate films—part 2: a numerical experiment", Corrosion, 59, 6 (2003): p. 489-497.
4.M. Tlili, M. Benamor, C. Gabrielli, H. Perrot, and B. Tribollet, "Influence of the interfacial pH on electrochemical CaCO3 precipitation", Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 150, 11 (2003): p. C765-C771.